Police Burnham-On-Sea

The second phase of a regional Police crackdown on drugs is taking place this week (Monday 4th – Sunday 11th July).

Avon and Somerset Police is joining with South West regional colleagues in carrying out operations to disrupt drug supply and prevent drug crime within the region, alongside preventative, educational and engagement work in communities.

Operation Scorpion is a joined-up collaboration between the five police forces in the South West region (Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire), alongside their respective offices of Police and Crime Commissioners, the British Transport Police, South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) and the charity CrimeStoppers to combine resources to tackle drug supply in the region and make the South West a hostile environment for drugs.

Following a successful Phase I operation in March*, Phase II of Operation Scorpion will focus on the impact of drugs within local communities and highlight the intelligence police need from the public to help disrupt the South West drugs market, dismantle drugs supply networks and arrest those who profit from them.

The work will include:

• Using information from communities to target and arrest drug offenders

• Seizing illegal drugs and drug-related weapons

• Working with partner agencies to support and help those vulnerable to exploitation

• Working with partner agencies to provide support to those who are involved in drug use

• Engaging with young people and communities to provide education around exploitation and drug harm

• Carrying out high visibility patrols to disrupt activity in areas of drug misuse

• Tackling drug waste and litter impacting local communities

Avon and Somerset Police’s lead for Operation Scorpion Superintendent Steve Kendall says: “In this phase of Op Scorpion, we’ll be reassuring our communities through high profile neighbourhood policing. Patrols will be targeted to disrupt street-level drug crime and we will be carrying out enforcement activities across the week, focusing on those who are profiteering from the damage and harm that drugs bring to our communities, including drug-related violence, theft and criminal damage.”

“Alongside enforcement work we’ll be safeguarding vulnerable people who find themselves caught up in drug use and/or supply, through no fault of their own, working with a number of different partner agencies to help them to access treatment and support.   We’ll also be continuing our ongoing educational and preventative work to ensure that young people are aware of the signs of grooming and exploitation and how to get help if they need it.”

“We’ll be asking the public to play their part in looking out for and reporting signs of drug activity in our neighbourhoods.  We need their help to support our partnership approach in tackling illegal drug supply within our communities.  Together we can reinforce the message that Avon and Somerset is no place for drugs.”

Anyone with information about illegal drugs activity should report it online at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk or via 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

To pass on information anonymously, the independent charity CrimeStoppers is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year on 0800 555 111 and through a non-traceable online form. Contact will remain 100% anonymous always. If the information supplied leads to an arrest and charge, there could be a cash reward of up to £1,000.

The first phase of Operation Scorpion took place in March 2022 and resulted in:

•            194 arrests in connection with drugs related offences

•            55 warrants carried out

•            400 drug line disruptions

•            £404K (at least ) of suspected drugs seized

•            £131K (at least) of cash seized

•            320 vulnerability / welfare checks carried out and people safeguarded

•            A vast array of weapons seized including tasers, knives and machetes.

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